On account of adjoining Canonsburg, the Borough of Houston will next be described. The land on which this town
stands was part of a tract purchased from John Haft on January 24, 1827. by Daniel Houston, a near relative of
Gen. Sam Houston, leader of the Texans in their war for independence from Mexico. After the Chartiers Valley Railroad
was completed through that section in 1871, David C. Houston, a son of Daniel Houston. saw the possibilities of
a town at that point and laid out the present plan of Houstonville. The first house in the new town was completed
in the summer of 1871 by A. T. Haft and the second by J. C. Johnson. A few years later H. E. Riggle laid out a
plan adjoining which was called Riggletown until the Borough of Houstonville was incorporated, May 13. 1901. The
town grew slowly for several years, but with the development of gas in the ‘80s and coal in later years the town
has grown until now it is of considerable importance. There are a number of coal mines in that vicinity, and branch
roads have been built from the Chartiers Valley Railroad to Midland, McConnells Mills and Westland. The main line
of the Washington-Pittsburgh electric line passes through the town.
After the incorporation of the borough in 1901 the following were the first officers: Charles W. Banfield, burgess;
George T. Cowan, D. L. McConnell, Simon H. Arnold, John A. Berry, J. R. Henderson, John Ritchie and R. M. Thompson,
The first school was established at Houstonville in 1876 in a room rented in the house of Stephen Champ, with Miss
Clara Capron as the first teacher. In 1877 a school building was erected on McNutt Street and Samuel McWilliams
was elected teacher. A brick school was erected in 1887, and in 1895 a third school was opened. At the present
time Ross A. Mitchell is the principal, and he has charge of seven teachers.
The Morrison Free Public Library was established in 1893 by the teachers and pupils of the school with the aid
of the citizens and school board. Dr. John Morrison in 1899 purchased a number of books and the school board furnished
a room and book cases.
The First United Presbyterian congregation was organized October 9, 1888, with eighty-two members, and on May 4.
1898, the present edifice was dedicated. The first pastor was Rev. E. E. Douglass. and the present pastor is Rev.
W. F. Harkey.
The Methodist Episcopal congregation was organized by Rev. J. B. Uber on August 19, 1894, with thirteen members,
as a branch of the Canonsburg Methodist Church. In 1897 W. B. Houston donated two lots, and in October the church
was dedicated. Rev. J. J. Davis is the present pastor.
A Seceder Church was erected in 1874 and a small brick church was erected on a lot on the creek bank. This was
used for ten or twelve years. after which the society was disbanded.
From old deeds on record in the recorder’s office it appears that Houstonville was laid out originally as Jewettville.
Just when the change of name took place is not known definitely, but it must have been shortly after the town was
first started. It remained Houstonville until about twenty years ago when the “ville” was dropped.